Medicine And The Media

Complementary medicine and the cure for credulity

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 29 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1678
  1. Sandra Goldbeck-Wood

    In the 1960s and ‘70s “alternative medicine” was a minority interest, regarded by the public as cranky and reviled by the BMA as unscientific hocus pocus. Today complementary medicine is enjoying a revival, the BMA has declared peace, and the customer, above all, is king.

    Catherine Bennett's vituperative critique of complementary medicine shown on BBC2 is part of the inevitable backlash. Images of swinging crystals and colonic irrigation equipment are juxtaposed with carefully selected sound bites from complementary therapists so as to discredit the whole business. The tone of the programme is sarcastic, the message simple: complementary medicine, says Bennett, is more like magic than medicine. “In order to believe in it,” she says, “you have to abandon reason, forget about …

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